…aside from Carowinds, which was most of the afternoon.
*(EDITORS NOTE: omg I don’t even know what day it is anymore. These are things we did on SUNDAY.)
We had some time to kill in the morning and Roadside America told me that we were mere minutes away from the site of the abandoned Heritage USA, the religious “theme park” created by Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker back in the day (late 80s? Early 90s? Who could be sure. Well, Google could but Vacation Erin don’t be caring).
The site is actually an operational church now (probably one of those wack ones no doubt) that contains some artifacts from the old Heritage USA Main Street but if anyone is going to get sucked into an extreme religion, it’s me so I lost interest and opted not to pursue this any further. Then Henry was like OH SHIT YOU GOTTA SEE THIS HOUSE WE JUST PASSED and when he turned around, I screamed “That’s the place I said you wouldn’t want to go, the Upper Room!!!” I didn’t realize we were that close to it! So he pulled in the parking lot and let me and Chooch off the leash long enough to walk the perimeter.
It’s supposed to be an exact replica of the room in which the Last Supper took place but of course it wasn’t open yet so I couldn’t peep that shit for myself. But I guess I will take their word for it?
When we were walking through the outside parts of the building, Chooch said, “It smells like your pappap’s house” and it really did. It’s hard to explain the scent but it’s old, musty, and nostalgic. Earthy kind of, too.
Then I spazzed out and cried about leaving my cats and we almost canceled the rest of the trip and came home but then I calmed down and we went to Carowinds except that if you know me, you know that this likely dragged on for an hour and was way more intense and hilly than any coaster we’d be riding that day.
We left Carowinds around 4 after doing everything we really wanted to do and making an executive decision not to wait 60+ minutes in line for a boomerang and a wild mouse just for credit purposes, and somehow managed to find a veg-friendly restaurant in Charlotte with actual ease and little frustration.
It was called FLOWER CHILD.
And it was wonderful. They had kombucha on tap.
Only I got kombucha. Henry and Chooch grimace at that heavenly nectar.
I got the Glow Bowl which had sweet potato noodles and a vegan-based curry. It was so filling, I couldn’t finish it all and that is unlike me. Henry also got some hippy bowl of some sort and actually liked it and also said that he was surprised how filling it was considering it didn’t appear to be much food. Chooch got a Thai tofu wrap and left all the vegetables but at least he ate the tofu.
Everyone was so friendly there and the aesthetic was 100% my style.
Look how cute the bathroom was!!
After we left, we were walking back to the car, which we had parked on a street about a block away. As we were approaching it, I saw that the drivers side door was open–not fully but also a bit more than just ajar. In my head I thought, “that can’t be our car” and then “OMG THATS OUR CAR.” I ran over with my heart in my throat but somehow, all of our stuff was still there. I had my backpack on the floor of the front seat, with my laptop in it but everything was untouched.
Henry was so confused because he said he knows he shut the door so we have NO IDEA what happened, if someone tried to get in but the alarm went off maybe? I mean, we weren’t on some desolate street – it was right across from a brewery that had plenty of patrons dining outside so — not very conducive for car-jacking or petty theft I guess? It was a very yuppie area.
Man we dodged that bullet but it took a while for my heart rate to go down, that’s for sure.
We drove to downtown Charlotte after that and attempted to walk off some of that anxiety-driven adrenaline. There was this cute city park that I wanted to see because there are giant bronze book statues according to roadside america and I, as you know, am a book dork. Chooch was soooo annoyed about this part of the itinerary.
Especially when I was being hyper-bossy about having my picture taken properly and then I hated every single one anyway so who cares.
I drew a portrait of Frederick Douglass in art one year in high school and I really think it was the best work I’ve ever done and I wish I still had it…why don’t I still have it?
DISCO CHICKEN! I have no idea what this really is but I loved it.
We started our drive to Durham afterward (we needed somewhere to crash on the way to Williamsburg, VA) and I found us an Ice cream joint in Greensboro called Lucha Libre and, as you’ve probably already ascertained by the name, it was bangin’.
This place was SO OVERWHELMING though. So many different things to order, some looked like they were just TOO MUCH though so we all chose something from what appeared to be the smallest, less decked-out menu.
I had such ordering anxiety that when it was my turn, I had to ask the guy what his favorite from that particular type was and he said “coconut” so I said, “Then that is what I want” and thank god because I truly love coconut. But I didn’t see it on the menu because everything had lucha libre and Spanish names with no descriptions so we were ordering blind.
But I don’t really think you could choose poorly at a place like that. I mean, unless you have an allergy of some sort.
Anyway, the guy who took our order ended up being the owner’s son (henry was “reading about the place” while we waited for our orders to be ready, apparently) and he told us that we came at a good time because usually the line loops around the whole place and that entire families (“You know, large families!”) come in after church and it can take over an hour for an order to be ready! It was just 25 minutes for ours and I didn’t mind because the place had a real festive atmosphere, like a dance party:
I mean, they played NKOTB at one point so it was pretty lively lol.
I had to text my work pal Megan because we just had a full-fledged NKOTB discussion on Jabber last week because I was reviewing something for a company called Step By Step and naturally it injected that song into my head. Neither of us were on that New Kids-wagon back in the day but I gotta admit, I always really liked The Right Stuff – the bridge is what did it for me!
YESSSS. And each one came with a syringe of chocolate sauce, too. I *fully* enjoyed this experience but you better believe I dropped to the ground and did sit-ups later that night in our hotel in Durham – The Millennium, which was Shining-esque in its hallways and also smelled like my Pappap’s house??!! We were only there from 10pm-7:30am so I didn’t really get to explore but the room was pretty huge and I had ample space to do my “DO THIS EVERY MORNING TO LOSE WEIGHT” Grow With Jo workout that I woke up extra early for this morning and this shit better work lol.
Also, henry and Chooch both used the bathroom at Lucha Libre which was basically a shared bathroom within the strip mall and they both are still talking about “the hallway of death” that they had to walk along to find the bathroom and Chooch said he heard scraping coming from behind a door and now I feel really left out because I didn’t use the bathroom too :(
When we left, the owner himself thanked us for coming and he was so adorable and now I am obsessed with this place and the friendly people so if you are in Greensboro, go there. Also, bonus points for it being in a shopping center full of Korean businesses too! It is always a joy to see Hangeul signs in the US.
OK, now we’re en route to Busch Garden so I’m peacing out!